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Case Study

Building FP&A Tools in a Complex Data Environment

Team Size
1 Managing Director, 1 Director, 1 Associate
Project Duration
5 months

The Challenge

A higher education enterprise focused on enrollment management and fundraising had scaled up through a series of acquisitions. The Company engaged Accordion to build their budget plan, develop an upgraded forecasting tool, and diagnose the ERP system effectiveness within finance & operations. The Company had a complex contract & financial database and previous budgets & forecasts were lacking in their ability to aggregate information into a concise, detailed, and useful prognostication. In addition, management required better analytics to make impactful decisions.


Actionable Business Analytics

Budgeting & Forecasting Process Improvement

ERP/Financial Systems Assessment

The Execution

  • Created deep diagnostics & recommendations behind existing budgeting & forecasting processes, and the ERP data storage framework; Identified anecdotes, root causes, and key corrective themes.
  • Quarterbacked a comprehensive budget plan and process; Organized constant and clear communication with all relevant stakeholders and managed an iterative budget in partnership with FP&A, sales, operations, and leadership.
  • Built repeatable and documented budgeting & forecasting tools which incorporated complex contract data, utilization data, and financial data from disparate systems; Identified operational improvement initiatives and their resultant impact on key financial metrics, including revenue, profitability, cash flow, and covenant projections.
  • Built analytic tools with ability to extract data in a familiar format for the FP&A team to aggregate and perform reporting & analysis; Created template reporting, with a focus on product level margins & key cost categories, and liaised with IT leaders to integrate and populate new reporting.
  • Presented performance improvement ideas for the Company to consider – including cost optimization, more useful operating metrics, and ERP optimization recommendations.

The Results

Through the partnership with Accordion, the Company achieved two key outcomes. First, the Company developed budgeting & forecasting tools & processes which enhanced visibility, decision making speed, and reporting/analytics for all stakeholders. Sales, finance, and operations teams were provided more timely and impactful financial and analytical information so corrective actions could be taken sooner. Second, through performance improvement ideas and diagnostics, our team illuminated multiple operating improvements and potential investments to unlock value in the Company.